Love it or hate it, Vegemite is very much considered a staple of the Australian diet. Most Aussie kids will have grown up with Vegemite on toast, and Vegemite and cheese sandwiches. If you’re a Vegemite fan, you’re probably wondering, when can I get my baby started on the tradition?
The answer may be a little more complicated than you think.
What’s the bad news?
The main issue that most dietitians have with our national spread is its sodium content. That delicious salty taste is also what makes it not such a healthy choice for babies.
One teaspoon of vegemite is equal to 5% of an adult’s recommended daily sodium intake. For little one’s developing kidneys and digestive systems, that can be a bit hard to stomach.
Is there good news?
Yes – Vegemite is also very high in B vitamins which are all really important in cell function and metabolism. You also get B vitamins from foods like dairy, meats, dark leafy greens and legumes. So whilst it’s nice that Vegemite has some B group vitamins in it, it’s definitely not the only, or best, dietary source.
Can I feed my baby Vegemite or not?
As with many of our favourite foods, the answer is yes, but in moderation. Vegemite is relatively safe to introduce to your little one’s diet once they are eating a variety of different foods.
NSW Health suggests a small amount is finely spread onto toast fingers from around six months old. A sparse spread on a piece of toast is unlikely to do them any harm and introduces them to a new and interesting flavour.
If you’re really concerned, you can always check in with your medical provider but otherwise, have fun with your happy little Vegemite trying something new soon!
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